USA: Trump Wins The Election Hillary Clinton Was Born To Lose

AMERICA has delivered a vicious rebuke to Hillary Clinton and the Washington establishment, voting Republican firebrand Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States; despite early uncertainty, the sky will not fall in, and Trump’s task is to make good his vow to “make America great again.” For Clinton, the repudiation is a brutal, thorough, deserved humiliation. For her party, it remains to be seen whether it can recover by 2020 — if at all.

First things first: congratulations must be minuted to President-elect Trump, his family, their supporters, and the 60 million Americans who voted for them; Donald Trump has been elected to the most powerful political office in the free world — and will become its 45th occupant on 20 January — and it is to be hoped, for the common global good, that the eloquent vision he articulated during his victory speech last night (Melbourne time) is one he delivers upon.

I am not a supporter of Trump, nor am I hostile toward him; I am however (as regular readers well know) flatly opposed to the Clintons ever again holding public office and in this sense, the United States and the world have been spared four gruelling and traumatic years of legal machinations, a probable impeachment, and quite possibly armed conflict with Russia. And this is before we even contemplate the divisive, insiderish, illiberal junta that would have comprised a second Clinton administration.

Donald Trump, to be sure, is far from an ideal candidate for the presidency of the United States.

But his alleged misdemeanours — real, imagined, or laid bare by Wikileaks as campaign plots by a morally bankrupt and repugnant Democratic Party — pale into insignificance alongside any contemplation of decades of shady legal and business manoeuvres, questionable (and possibly criminal) behaviour during four years as Secretary of State, or the arrant and abhorrent sense of entitlement with which Hillary Clinton pursued the position of President.

This is not to say that dirty talk about women and other insulting and/or demeaning conduct should be sanctioned or condoned; far from it, although there are those leftist zealots who will accuse me of doing precisely that irrespective of any declamations to the contrary. For those people, reality is a jaundiced concept.

But a woman whose conduct may yet be found to have been brazenly and wantonly criminal — and who, in “supporting” her husband has repeatedly silenced women who levelled accusations of rape and sexual assault against Bill Clinton — is in no position to wail about “misogyny” or the mistreatment of her gender; in any case, she has singularly failed to satisfactorily answer the charge that her flagrant misuse of email systems as Secretary of State at best divulged highly classified material, and at worst compromised the national security of both the United States of America and its allies.

Hillary Clinton is, to be sure, the most unsuitable candidate to ever seek to be President. Whilst the alleged misdeeds of Trump are nothing to recommend, they do not outweigh any reasonable or reasoned assessment of her claim to that office. On that score, one of the best deconstructions of that campaign I have seen can (and should) be viewed below.

At the time of publication, it appears Trump and Clinton are level pegging with 47.6% of the popular vote apiece, with the balance claimed by a raft of minor party candidates, although as counting concludes in the Democratic fortress of California, Clinton will likely edge Trump on this measure by about half a percentage point overall.

In the Electoral College — where it really matters — this translates into 310 of 538 votes for Trump to 228 for Clinton, as the Republican carried EC votes from 31 of the 50 states to Clinton’s 19 plus the District of Columbia.

It is, in EC terms, a convincing win that falls short of a landslide. The only real surprise is that the margin isn’t greater.

One of the points of interest I have noted is that of the seven extra states Trump won, six — Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — are clustered in the north-east in and around the area variously described as “Hillary’s firewall” and the home of America’s liberal Left “elites.”

In other words, the Trump victory has been primarily fuelled by a rebellion against Clinton and the Democrats on what is to all intents and purposes their home turf: the only extra state he picked up elsewhere was Florida, whose 29 EC votes ultimately proved surplus to the required 270-vote threshold.

The notion Trump’s win was driven by a backlash against the Democrats in their heartland is further underlined by the fact almost every state the Democrats nevertheless carried in the immediate vicinity of those they lost — New York, Maine, Connecticut, to mention a few — were carried with significantly reduced margins.

There is a very clear message to politicians of the liberal Left — in and beyond the United States — and one that transcends the populist claptrap that at times characterised Trump’s campaign tactics: people are fed up with being told how to think, and act, and behave, or that someone else knows better than they do how to run their lives or spend their money, or that their country is the plaything for profit of a cabal of mostly unelected spivs legitimised by the fig leaf of an electoral endorsement obtained by gross deception.

This message (and its impact) has now been felt twice in Britain, once with the majority victory by the Conservative Party last year and subsequently in the Brexit referendum in June; it was a key reason for yesterday’s victory by Trump in the USA; and the prospect of sitting governments being turfed out in western Europe in favour of nationalist and/or conservative libertarian outfits is high, with the Front National in France a real chance to push the ruling Socialists out of contention in next year’s elections.

It is one that is quickly generating a backlash here in Australia, as people fed up with the finger-shaking agendas of an insiderish few profiting from the public purse, aimed at enshrining political correctness and hard socialism, find their voices in (for now) minor fringe parties.

If the Liberal Party rediscovers its proper role as the steward of the individual, freedom and respect for traditional institutions and values, it will prosper; but if it does not, the risk a new conservative force rooted in the mainstream rather than the far Right may usurp it is very real.

In other words, the forces that have led to the ascension of Trump are on the march across the Western world, as people react against the scam of “climate change,” the spectre of unlimited mass immigration, the prescriptive regulation of speech and thought, and the consequent destruction of everything that made their countries great to begin with.

Contrary to nightmare scenarios bandied about by Clinton and her cheer squad in global media — in increasingly shrill tones as election day drew nigh — the world will not end under President Trump, and the sky will not fall in; it is an obscene intellectual dishonesty to suggest otherwise, but in the US, Australia, Canada, Britain and elsewhere, it is fashionable for the Left to frame any conservative electoral mandate as the precursor to unmitigated social, economic (and in this case, military) destruction.

Ironically, the prospects for global conflict will recede after yesterday’s win by Trump; far from the a candidate with “inappropriate links” to Russia, Trump has demonstrated that he understands the need to ratchet tensions with the re-emergent superpower down.

In this sense, the so-called “bromance” he enjoys with Vladimir Putin appears likely to provide a circuit-breaker in US-Russia relations that would not have materialised under Clinton, who spent four years as Secretary of State giving every appearance of being as provocative toward Putin as possible, and whose campaign articulated a series of positions on Syria and the Middle East that seem contrived only to goad Russia into armed confrontation.

Global financial markets — which initially reeled on discovering compliant media reports assuring a Clinton victory were incorrect — will soon enough stabilise, as they did in the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

And whilst some of America’s trading partners may be entitled to feel nervous about changes Trump says he will make — backed by majorities in both Houses of Congress, no less — the truth is that US interests have been badly damaged during eight years of spectacularly incompetent Democratic rule. Whilst the Trump prescription might not be perfect, the prospect the American economy can be revived under this new approach is at worst no less probable than anything Clinton might have attempted.

Significantly, Trump has made it clear that the relationship with Australia is a key priority for his incoming administration: to safeguard our own interests, Australian officials have been building bridges to the Trump camp for months, and media reports yesterday featuring senior US figures suggested these prove fruitful.

But in the end, yesterday’s election result — a vindication of the Trump message, however unorthodox — was really a judgement on the illiberalism and socialism and failed international and domestic strategies of a moribund Democratic Party.

After two eight-year administrations in less than 25 years, it is easy to forget that America’s Democrats have lost six of the past ten US elections and that a seventh — Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992 — might have ended very differently had Ross Perot not drained off 19% of the vote as a third-party candidate: a development widely acknowledged at the time as having cost the senior George Bush a second term in the White House.

And in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, the euphoria of initial victory was quickly displaced by deep unpopularity and electoral mauling as soon as mid-term elections fell due; in Clinton’s case, a second term was made a certainty only by exceedingly poor candidate selection by the Republicans.

In short, the US Democratic Party of the past 40 years isn’t the most successful outfit on the planet.

I was shocked to learn, flicking through Wikipedia at the weekend, that many prominent names at Democratic presidential selection contests 30 years ago have remained prominent for most of the time since; the current Vice-President, for example, initially sought the presidency in the 1980s.

And with an eye to the future, it seems a tall ask for the Democrats to be competitive in four years’ time, let alone be in any position to win.

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was, in some respects, the last lunge by a patronage-addled, insiderish junta at an undeserved return to power in Washington; it has rightly been punished with defeat, and there are few credible names coming through that party’s ranks who might make plausible claims to the White House even after a further four years.

By contrast, the Republicans are blessed with fresh blood, with the likes of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio seemingly on the cusp of acting as standard bearers for a new era of American conservative politics.

I would be surprised if Trump seeks a second term in 2020, at the age of 74; whether he does or not, I suspect the axis of American politics is very much tilting away from the Democrats.

Either way — and whether he does or not — the onus is now on Trump to deliver on his rhetoric, and to make good his promise to “make America great again;” this project doesn’t start for another ten weeks, and until it does, I will reserve my judgement.

For Hillary Clinton, yesterday represented a brutal and thoroughly deserved humiliation, and a savage repudiation of everything she and her insidious cabal stands for; as I publish, Clinton has had neither the grace to publicly concede the election to Trump, nor the basic decency to address the American public or her long-suffering supporters. In defeat, Hillary Clinton has shown just how poor a champion she really is for the groups she claims to represent, and her actions remove any final vestiges of doubt that her only real agenda was power at literally any price.

America — and the world — are the poorer for the bruising and at times tasteless election campaign that concluded yesterday. It is Trump’s responsibility to now restore some decorum and prestige to institutions and processes that have been considerably tarnished.

But this election was destined to be lost by Hillary Clinton, who was born to lose any contest for the highest office in the United States at which she may have sought to slake her thirst for power and the imbecilic delusions of entitlement and public adulation that may have fed it.

In the end, this had nothing to do with oppressed women, or male dominance of spheres of influence, or the inherent “sexism” of the electorate, or any other bullshit with which the Left seeks to justify the failure of undesirable and contemptible candidates for high office.

Hillary Clinton has failed because the US public — weary of her after 40 years in public life, and contemptuous of her litany of scandals, fixes and other embarrassments — has finally decided to simply say “no.”

There is nobody else to blame. The result perfectly reflects her unfitness for office. Hillary Clinton emerges from this contest with precisely what she deserves, and that — literally — is absolutely nothing.

 

Trump vs Clinton: Choosing Between Political Correctness And The Truth

AS THE RACE to find the 45th US President enters the final stretch, it looks increasingly likely America — and the world — will be lumbered with the most unfit candidate to ever hold the office. A Hillary Clinton presidency is not and will not be a triumph, but a disaster; such an outcome is not a victory for women, but a curse upon them. In a turgid race pitting leftist fantasies of political correctness against a potty-mouth, a certain casualty is the truth.

Today’s post is as much an opportunity to “share” as an opinion piece in its own right; as we recommence the discussion in this column I’m mindful there are many issues we have missed, and with a known two-day hiatus starting off the new week, I want to try to get a separate piece up in time for Monday morning readers in addition to this one.

But the electoral contest playing out in the United States offers perhaps the most uninspiring choice of candidates ever seen at arguably the most important US election since Dwight Eisenhower triumphed in 1950, if ever; this election actually matters — not just to the USA, but to the rest of the world — and has become, like everything Hillary Clinton touches, a filthy slugfest between an allegedly rotten enemy that must be destroyed at any and all costs, and a tawdry set of “principles” to which unconvincing lipservice is paid but which are utterly disconnected from the reality of their so-called champion.

At the outset, I want to emphatically note that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, even if the practical effect of my position could be construed as marking me out as exactly that; on the contrary, I am flatly, resolutely and implacably opposed to the Clintons — be it Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, or the army of quislings who do their bidding — and can more accurately be described as sitting in the “anyone but Hillary” cohort.

Indeed, one of the despairing laments those around me have heard over the past couple of months is that it’s a shame (an almost criminal shame) that the independent candidates in the field, and Gary Johnston in particular, do not seem to have their shit together; the imperative of barring Hillary Clinton from the Oval Office far transcends any jumped-up indiscretions on the part of Trump, but through the negligence and selective amnesia of most of the American press, the sins of the latter seem certain to pave the way for the ascension of the former: with her own, far more reprehensible track record simply skated past and ignored.

The explosive revelation some weeks ago that Donald Trump had engaged, 20 years ago, in what he described as “locker room banter” but which at root was a filthy diatribe about what he would physically like to do to women he found attractive were inappropriate, abhorrent, and distasteful in the extreme, although I should note that a) were he not a candidate for the US presidency, they would never have come out, and b) if you show me a heterosexual male who has not articulated sexual desires toward a woman at some point, however foolishly, I will show you a liar. It doesn’t make it right, or justifiable, or even tolerable in the context of the election campaign, but it should also be noted that these sentiments — tasteless or not — were nothing more than words.

Of course, the Clinton campaign has followed up the salacious and scandalising revelations by producing a stream of aggrieved women with accusations of actual sexual “misconduct” against Trump; curiously enough, every one of these accusations has died out within a few days. Some have been allowed to quietly slip when contradicted by credible third-party witnesses; others when irrefutable proof has emerged that Trump was geographically nowhere near the woman in question at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

The strategy is simple; operating from the grimy platform of the Clintons’ own debased standards (which we will come to presently), to paint Trump as a monster not dissimilar to the former US President in their own midst.

Just because Bill Clinton is a predator and a monster in his own right does not mean Donald Trump, by extension, must also be a predator on account of the fact he has dared to range himself against the Clintons in an electoral contest.

But if you are a Clinton, this is the mentality that underpins your words and deeds; Hillary is “a champion” of women and of women’s rights, and the “agent of change” who will encourage women across America and the world to speak out about their experiences at the hands of evil men, safe in the knowledge their grievances will be believed and assured that whomever they accuse will have the living shit kicked out of them by society, public opinion, and the law.

It doesn’t matter, in the jaundiced and warped Clinton world, that their own reality could not be more disconnected from this nirvana of women’s rights and the damnation of men at the merest denunciation, however fallacious; in fact, this outlook is a heinous and unforgivable slight upon those women who really have been raped, or assaulted, or otherwise physically mistreated by men who are never brought to account.

But when you are a Clinton, such distinctions are treated with contempt, for the only thing that matters is power: and if that means using a few women as pawns, or trashing a few men guilty of nothing more than a few loose (if grotesque) words along the way, then so be it.

This brings me to an excellent video editorial by New York media identity, former prosecutor and judge, Jeanine Pirro, from her programme on Fox News three weeks ago at the height of the fallout from the initial reportage of the Trump remarks; with surgical precision (and whilst failing to excuse what Trump said in any way, shape or form), Pirro made the case — irrefutably — that far from a defender of women, Hillary Clinton is in fact a destroyer of them; far from a champion of women’s rights, Hillary Clinton is a serial malevolent whose only priority has been to further her own (and her husband’s) political agenda even if it means actively compromising the very cause she has the audacity and gall to claim, po-faced, to be the greatest advocate for that America has ever seen.

Take the few minutes to watch this, folks. It isn’t intended to exonerate Trump, but those wedded to the imbecilic notion of Hillary Clinton as a President who might add any value whatsoever to the lot of women cannot reasonably adhere to such a misguided notion after an exposition of the case against her, laid out with forensic exactitude, such as this.

(That clip is pinned to the top of my Twitter feed, and will remain there until election day in the US; I urge readers who use Twitter to visit me @theredandblue and retweet it to their followers, and to encourage them to do the same).

But more broadly, why are 300 million Americans apparently determined to select a President based on this issue at all?

With the exception of Fox News (and even then, not unilaterally), the bulk of the US press appears singularly determined to simply ignore the shocking record of the Clintons where misdemeanours against women — actual, physical, often allegedly criminal misdemeanours — are concerned.

The complete whitewash of anything remotely negative in connection to Hillary Clinton is reminiscent of the treatment given to Kevin Rudd in 2007 by the Australian press; despite “a rich seam of shit” on Rudd, as I put it to a former senior Liberal frontbencher at the time and which was later validated by events more thoroughly than any of us hoped or believed, the media in Australia had simply decided who they wanted to win that year’s election and proceeded, blindly and unthinkingly, on that basis. The same phenomenon is in evidence in America today.

And without putting too fine a point on it, this election matters, for reasons that far transcend issues of women’s rights and the politically correct railings against an indisputed potty mouth with an apparent penchant for talking dirty.

The warnings by 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney about the resurgent threat posed to the United States by Vladimir Putin’s Russia have proven disturbingly correct, so much so that the very real prospect of nuclear conflict over Syria, or over any move by Russian forces into the disputed Baltic states, is now growing; eight years of abjectly pathetic Democratic management of foreign affairs have signalled a weakening of American prestige and resolve on the world stage, with Iran widely perceived to have walked all over Barack Obama in striking a deal on nuclear security that left it open to developing nuclear weapons, and with a plethora of other international flashpoints — North Korea, Syria, and the scourge of Islamic State — seemingly beyond the capacity of the Americans to deal with.

Domestically, the US faces intransigent challenges in healthcare, immigration, crime, the moribund state of its economy, and the haemorrhaging federal budget: all issues for which Clinton has exhibited a cavalier disregard.

And Clinton’s own record — with unresolved allegations of criminality over her misuse of classified emails, Benghazi, and the supposedly charitable Clinton Foundation, amongst others — is seemingly being overlooked by the mainstream media altogether.

It is instructive to note that Wikileaks — curiously, looking as if it wants to torpedo Clinton — has been unearthing an avalanche of damning evidence against Clinton that is failing to register with American voters, presumably because the mainstream press simply isn’t interested.

But what is equally telling is that the Clinton camp and its adherents — who in the past lauded Wikileaks as a “hero” whenever it took aim at George Bush, or John Howard, or Stephen Harper, or a swathe of other Right-of-Centre leaders — is now letting it be known that the document leaking portal is “a disgrace.”

I don’t resile from my long-held view that Wikileaks is nothing more than a criminal outfit: a front for the commission of treason, sedition, and other violations of the national security of sovereign states. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the only thing protecting Clinton is the apathy of the press, which is relentless in striving to achieve her election as President.

In an ideal world, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even the independent candidates on the ballot who seem incapable of capitalising on the horrendous choice provided by the major parties would all be absent from this contest; it is the most lacklustre field in living memory, and makes the likes of Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale appear positively statesmanlike by comparison.

And in a final demonstration of the contemptible double standards of the Clintons, their “outrage” at suggestions by Trump that he “might not accept” the election result if Hillary wins warrants a look no further than the behaviour of the Al Gore campaign — aided and egged on by the Clintons — when it dragged the USA through a protracted legal dispute that lasted for weeks when George W. Bush narrowly triumphed in 2000.

Yet whoever emerges, the tragic casualty is likely to be the truth: and if Clinton is elected, the USA and the rest of the world will soon regret the day she was ever selected by her party to run against Trump, let alone handed the keys to the White House.

Trump may have proven little better than a filthy gnome during this campaign, but that pales in comparison to the actual misdeeds of Clinton, and the genuine threat a second Clinton presidency would pose to international security and to the United States itself.

In this sense, the least worst of the available candidates is, in fact, Donald Trump: something it gives me no joy whatsoever to opine.

Yet unless an outburst of reality and commonsense quickly afflicts the American press — and the tens of millions of voters who depend on it to provide a balanced assessment of all relevant aspects of this campaign, and not just the sanitised PC blather of the Clinton junta — then a Clinton presidency is exactly what America will get.

Should it come to pass, then fair-minded and rational people the world over will have ample reason for alarm.

God help the United States of America.

 

Hillary For Prison 2016: The Indictment Looms

THE PROSPECT of POTUS fancy Hillary Clinton finally ending up where she belongs — in gaol — has drawn nearer, with a key report slamming her misuse of classified material on a private email server. This column has despised the Clintons for decades, with their entitlement mentality and penchant for acting as laws unto themselves. The likely Democratic nominee facing prison as a consequence of her actions would be no less than she deserves.

At some point late today or tomorrow morning, I am going to post a quick review of where our own federal election campaign sits with three weeks down and five to go; for some time I have thought Malcolm Turnbull was on track for a narrow defeat, although the best efforts of the ALP this week to deal the Coalition back into the game just might save Turnbull’s hide. Stay tuned.

But this morning I want to share a report carried by The Australian yesterday from The Times, which moves election season in the United States into some seriously interesting territory; a key State Department report into the unorthodox email management system utilised by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State — using a private server — has slammed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, finding the arrangement was not officially sanctioned, and was used to handle confidential and classified materials that were at heightened risk of hacking or interception as a consequence.

Clinton, tellingly, has apparently been “sweating” on this report exonerating her of any misconduct.

But in a further excoriation of her behaviour, the report also found that 30,000 emails deleted from the private server included classified documentation: and that not only should they not have been there, but they should not have been destroyed by Clinton either.

It now seems inevitable that Clinton will face charges over the matter, and if found guilty, faces prison: and with decades of history of acting, with husband Bill in harness, as a law unto herself, a stint in a federal penitentiary would seem no less than the one-time First Lady and New York Senator deserves.

THE decades-long endeavour to bring Hillary Clinton to justice may be nearing its conclusion.

This column has never made any secret of its deep loathing of Bill and Hillary Clinton; neither is able to point to any legacy in office of any particular value, and both fit the nauseating stereotype of would-be emulators of the “Camelot” mentality of the Kennedy family with their sense of entitlement, their penchant for doing whatever they like, and the expectation they will always get away with it: and that Americans will and indeed should love them irrespective.

I’m sorry, but even in the insiderish Washington establishment that protects its own at almost any cost, this is simply too much to stomach.

Not least from a woman who — 20 years ago — found herself at the centre of the Whitewater scandal, in which her role was never satisfactorily or convincingly explained; and not from an individual who now seeks arguably the most powerful office in the world, free to dispense patronage and favour to fellow travellers in the Democrats’ insidious liberal Left tradition, and whose ascent to that office could provide sufficient cover to ensure she never faces justice over the alleged misdemeanours of which she now stands accused.

This scandal has been years in the making, literally, and many decent Americans have wondered whether the whole sordid business would be swept under the carpet. In this sense, the release of the State Department’s report, and the obvious signal it sends to prosecutors to indict Ms Clinton, is a refreshing development.

As readers will note, the article I have linked to this morning sets out a likely timeframe for Ms Clinton to be indicted, the charges considered by a Court, and a verdict arrived at; this process will by its nature run longer than the remainder of the presidential election race, giving rise to the very real prospect that Clinton — if elected President — could earn the shame and ignominy of being the first US President to ever be jailed whilst holding office.

This, of course, is no excuse to defer or avoid justice being carried out.

But it adds fresh fuel to the campaign of Donald Trump — who, whether you approve or not, appears likelier by the day to be elected in November, providing the seemingly inevitable march toward the GOP nomination he has all but completed follows its course to conclusion.

And it raises the question of whether the Democrats persist with Clinton, disallow her candidacy on some arcane pretext and substitute her with ageing socialist troglodyte Bernie Sanders, or cut their losses with the pair of them and find a fresh candidate altogether, such as Clinton’s rumoured running mate, Elizabeth Warren.

Personally, I think the Clintons have been allowed to get away with far too much for far too long, and if Hillary ends up in gaol at the conclusion of the State Department’s action against her, it will be exactly what she deserves — and put her precisely where she belongs.

We will follow this issue as it develops, and of course with the nominating contests all but finished, this column will pay closer attention to the presidential race as it cranks up in the rundown to election day in early November.

But if it is decided at law that Clinton has destroyed classified documents (or worse, if it can be established that they have been intercepted) then that isn’t a piffling matter to get away with: it’s an offence against US national security, and should that verdict come to pass, it will be a damnation of somebody who has always held herself up as the “brains” trust in the God-forsaken Clinton sideshow: and a prison term in those circumstances would be a fitting punishment for someone who, on any measure, should have known better — and known better than virtually anybody else in the United States.

I will be back late today or in the morning, as promised, to talk about matters closer to home.

 

US Elections: Iowa Caucuses Resolve Nothing

A VERY short post to acknowledge today’s primaries in Iowa, as the US begins to select a new President; with Barack Obama barred from seeking a third term by the constitution, one of the candidates who featured today will become President of the United States in November. Whilst Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz fared better than expected, today’s results shed little light on who the eventual victor will be.

It really is a short post this evening; operating on ten hours’ sleep in three days, I’m not going to be conscious very long. But I wanted to make some remarks on the first of the nominating contests that took place in the US state of Iowa today (AEDT) as Americans begin the process of selecting a new President.

I have always had a sense that the next President of the United States would be a Republican, but just who that ends up being remains a matter for conjecture; despite the weight of money, Establishment endorsements, and unrivalled name and personal recognition factors all running in her favour, I would be stunned if a majority of American voters could bring themselves to stomach four more years of the Clintons in the White House: and Hillary Clinton, in particular, being in charge.

Today’s vote within her own party sees her make virtually no progress toward sealing the nomination of her party whatsoever; with 49.9% of the votes cast in Iowa by registered Democratic voters, she couldn’t even win outright, which in turn echoes eerily the omen this state delivered on her prospects when she first stood against Obama eight years ago. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

By contrast, ageing “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders has reason to be pleased; despite falling short of Clinton by just over a quarter of a percentage point of the vote, Sanders has done better than anyone predicted or thought, although the “Anyone But Hillary” camp is every bit as alive and well in her own party as it is over at the GOP.

Some weeks ago I saw a supporter of Donald Trump attending a rally with a T-shirt that proclaimed “Hillary for Prison 2016” (and if anyone knows where I can get one of those shirts, do please drop a note in the comments section): all jokes aside, the Clinton camp is unable to proceed with any confidence that Hillary won’t be indicted at some point over any number of scandals (email servers, Benghazi, preferment, arcane relics from her legal career, et al) and the prospect she may in fact be charged can and should be sending prospective supporters scurrying in almost any other direction but hers.

The bottom line is that of the 44 delegates that were on offer today to the Democratic National Convention later this year, Clinton pocketed 23, and Sanders 21: and how the Clintons make any kind of triumph out of that is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political ledger — and speaking of Donald Trump — conservative republican Senator Ted Cruz topped the polling with 27.7% of the vote; outspoken loudmouth and “anti-candidate” Trump came second, with 24.3%; and in something of a surprise, Florida Senator Marco Rubio came third with a solidly respectable 23.1%, with nine also-rans rounding out the table and collecting a quarter of the votes cast by registered republican voters between them.

For the stats junkies, a link to the results from both the Democratic and republican primaries held in Iowa can be accessed here.

There’s not a great deal of point making any definitive predictions at this earliest of junctures, and quite aside from the fact I’m completely exhausted tonight (and don’t have the energy) this is a theme we will obviously be covering in increasing detail over the next nine months.

I had thought, as far back as 18 months ago, that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush — the “competent” Bush, as some call him — was the likeliest to emerge from the Republican pack with his party’s nomination, and a good chance of beating (as I then thought) Hillary Clinton to follow his father and older brother into the White House.

How politics changes: today, Bush scored less than 3% of the votes from Iowan Republicans; it could be that Americans have “had enough of Bushes” generally (much as many of them are heartily sick of the Clintons); it could be, given Jeb was a mentor as Florida Governor to the GOP’s boy wonder in Rubio, that the apprentice has merely stolen a march on the master.

One thing I am sure of, however, is that today’s results do not spell the end of the Trump campaign: he was always likelier to prevail later this month in New Hampshire than in Iowa, and unlike many of his rivals is flush with cash and enjoys a popular underpinning that none of the other candidates on either side of the ledger enjoy.

One will say, however, that a rash of drop-outs should be expected in the next week on the Republican side: starting with Rick Santorum, whose 1% today embarrassed the almost one-third share he pulled in this state four years ago, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose “endorsement” of Obama three days before the 2012 presidential election arguably swung the result behind Obama, and who must surely be regarded as unelectable after a corruption scandal in his state a few years back and after only polling 1.8% of the vote today.

The only conclusive takeout from today’s result is that despite the overwhelming advantages she arrived at this contest with in her arsenal, Hillary Clinton — one of the most unbackable favourites to win the Presidency in decades — couldn’t even garner half the vote.

This process has a million miles to run, and as it evolves the story will become clearer. But if I were a betting man (which, in small bier, I can be) I wouldn’t be putting any money on Clinton now, and it will be interesting to watch whether voters in other states take their cue from the Iowa result, and now begin to desert her in favour of Sanders.

On that note — goodnight…

🙂

 

 

President Hillary? God Help Us, And God Help The United States Of America

THE WORST PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE as President of the United States has declared, with an announcement by former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton that she would seek the Democratic Party nomination as President; the development should galvanise conservatives and more reasonable figures in Clinton’s own party, for she would be a domestic liability and international menace if ever elected to office.

At the outset — to answer the charge my trenchant opposition to a “President” Hillary Clinton is motivated by opposition to women, which it most certainly isn’t — I should like to simply observe that there are several capable, high profile women on both sides of American politics who would theoretically make very good Presidents, and that anyone whose politics are dictated by gender rather than a rational assessment of the best candidate for office should identify one of the other women in the field of potential contenders, and get behind her instead.

For Hillary Clinton, to be completely blunt, is just about the worst candidate going around for the Presidency, and should she ever be elected to that office the consequences for both the United States and the wider world are likely to be dire.

For someone who has spent decades at, near, or adjacent to the edifices of real power in the United States, Clinton is someone the US public has gotten to know all too well; there can be no doubt hers would be the most recognisable name on the ballot should she win the nomination of her party as President — which she has now announced her intention to seek — but name recognition and suitability for office are two very different notions.

In some respects, it is possible to feel some admiration for Clinton’s stoic determination; after all, this high-profile liberal lawyer (and no intellectual slouch) was forced to play bridesmaid — literally — to her husband Bill through stints as Governor of Arkansas in the 1980s, two terms as President himself, and what seems to have been a virtual lifetime of dealing with her husband’s philandering and infidelity, with a string of affairs and humiliations an unwanted bequest in life from the contemptible specimen to whom she is married.

I don’t propose today to embark on some forensic analysis of Bill Clinton’s tenure as President, although it is safe to assert it was helpful that it ended when it did, and equally helpful that the Democratic Party was moved on from the White House after eight years lest his deputy — who, among other things, “invented the Internet” and forecast polar ice caps would have melted by last year — be elevated to an unmerited and equally unpalatable stint as the US’ Commander-in-Chief.

Clinton is, to coin an idiom only ever deployed to demean its target, a Washington insider; this scion of the Democratic Party establishment, left-leaning social activist and hypocritical champion of the status of women is synonymous to many Americans with the interests of big business, lobby groups, and not concerned with the lot of the “little guy.”

And I say “hypocritical champion” of women because there is ample evidence Clinton is nothing of the kind; in recent weeks the US has been swept by rumours — neither denied nor, tellingly, responded to by the Clintons, even through recourse to legal proceedings — that Clinton was the enforcer who bullied and harassed and heavied husband’s conquests to keep them from going public; affairs and even rapes are said to have been hushed up and their victims bought off, intimidated, or thuggishly ground into submission.

Clinton has form for this, as we saw last June, as a report emerged in the US press of her boasting and laughing about getting a child rapist acquitted on a legal technicality; this is not conduct becoming of a putative President, and it is to be hoped Clinton’s Republican adversaries make great use of this — and other items from Clinton’s cavalier and wilful past — to explode the myth that she is in any way the candidate for women and families.

But her problems do not stop there.

Her age, for one thing, is a liability that can and should be turned against her; Democrats have form for making merry over the age of some of the candidates their opponents have run for the Presidency (one of the best Presidents in Ronald Reagan not least) and she deserves to be fair game as a 69-year-old by the time Americans vote in November next year.

As I said last year of the Democrats’ age-based crusade against Reagan, also 69 when first elected:

At 69 by the time the election is held in 2016, Clinton will be the same age Ronald Reagan was when he won in 1980, and despite the spectacular successes of the Reagan era, Democrats have spent the 30+ years since lampooning him as a senile gerontocrat whose administration was run exclusively by his wife and his advisers.

What compounds this consideration is the story — again, never denied by the Clintons — that Hillary some years ago suffered a stroke, and whatever recovery might have been made from that event (and be it one of life’s great injustices or otherwise), anyone who has suffered a stroke is literally not fit to serve in the most powerful office in the world with thousands of nuclear weapons at their disposal and on hair-trigger alert.

Foreign policy is going to be important on the watch of the next President, and incumbent Barack Obama — the worst President since at least the thoroughly useless Jimmy Carter, if not ever — has spent the past six and a half years inflaming global hotspots and imperilling the security of the United States and its allies, a track record neatly if sarcastically itemised in Brisbane’s Courier Mail this morning.

As someone who served for four years as one of the most senior members of the Obama Cabinet and who is deeply enmeshed in Democratic Party governance whenever it holds power, Clinton is as culpable in the representative sense for these failings as Obama is, and as President would face the responsibility of dealing with them.

Yet Americans can have no faith she is equipped or willing to do so, and the evidence of this can be found in the track record of her philandering husband, whose own administration (often said to in fact be influenced and run by Hillary) consistently kicked foreign policy challenges down the road to be dealt with by someone else.

It actually matters who wins this election in the US, with a resurgent and bellicose Russia openly threatening nuclear retaliation if held to account for its outrages, the Middle East seemingly erupting in a firestorm with the tacit imprimatur of Obama, and other hotspots around the world seemingly ignored.

Obama has overseen both the world becoming more dangerous and a diminishing of US power, prestige and reach. His country — and the world — cannot afford another of his ilk to follow him, yet like peas in a pod, Hillary would little different to Obama in his mishandling of international affairs, and America’s role in them.

Like most Democrats, there are few signs that Hillary Clinton has any inclination to address the ballooning US deficit and/or national debt, let alone the ideas and/or the backbone with which to do so; as it is, total US debt has doubled during the tenure of the Obama administration, to $US 13 trillion, and with an agenda heavy on left-leaning social spending and expanding public addiction to welfare, Clinton does not present as a responsible or capable economic stewardess.

Other coverage of the Clinton announcement in today’s press may be viewed here and here.

Clearly, this is no subject that can be summarily dealt with in a single article, and the process for electing a replacement for Obama in a little over 18 months’ time is only now sputtering slowly into motion; we will follow the election races on both the Republican and Democratic sides as they unfold.

But although unsurprising, the formalisation of a Clinton candidacy is the last thing the United States needs, and should be regarded as an invitation to better candidates on the Democratic side of the equation to do what Obama himself did the last time Hillary was said to be a shoo-in for their party’s nomination and to oppose, out-campaign and defeat her.

And I reiterate that at this early stage of proceedings, my own support lies with a hypothetical Republican ticket led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as his running mate: we will see how that dynamic plays out.

But a “President” Hillary Clinton?

Should it ever come to pass, then God help us all, and God help the United States of America; this veteran, inveterate Washington hack is just about the worst prospective candidate either side of US politics could dredge up to inflict on an unsuspecting public.

It is to be hoped, in good time, that even if she emerges with her party’s nomination, her only reward for the endeavour will be a humiliating concession speech — ideally to Bush — which would be neither more nor less than she deserved but which, by virtue of the fact they would have enforced its delivery in the first place, be exactly what the citizens of the US most needed after eight years of mismanagement and neglect by Obama that has made her country and the world around it a far, far more dangerous and less secure place.

 

POTUS 2016: The Bush-Clinton Showdown Is Coming

UNBELIEVABLY, it’s less than two years until Americans elect a President to replace Barack Obama; pundits have long salivated over a contest between Republican Jeb Bush — former Governor of Florida, son of former President George H. W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush — and former Senator Hillary Clinton. This column has already expressed preliminary support for Bush — if he runs. That prospect appears to be drawing closer to reality.

It is — by my standards — a very quick post from me this morning, and in truth, really just to share some material with readers.

It beggars belief to consider that it’s now more than two years since we sat glued to FOX coverage of the US 2012 presidential election, when former Republican strategist Karl Rove insisted GOP candidate Mitt Romney could still be elected even as the decisive swing state of Ohio declared for Barack Obama — sealing his historic, and in retrospect completely unjustified, re-election.

I wanted to post this morning to share a couple of articles being carried in the Fairfax press today; after all, with the recent US mid-term elections that saw Republicans sweep control of Congress (and making Obama a lame duck in every sense for the final years of his stint in the White House) attention in the States will now increasingly turn to who follows him into office, and a crowded field of potential Republican candidates appears to be taking shape more quickly than the number of names suggest.

In truth — barring some miracle of judgement on the part of the Democratic Party — the GOP contest is really to work out who takes on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

My motivation to briefly publish comment on this today stems from a report that Jeb Bush — sometimes referred to as “the competent Bush” — appears to be shifting decisively toward commencing a full-blown run for the Republican nomination; common sense and consideration dictates that were he to do so he would automatically assume frontrunner status, and in the interests of expediency I’m not going to canvass his prospects today either for or agin, other than to reiterate the early support for a Bush candidacy I have previously indicated.

After all, this post is really only to introduce the issue to our conversation, having occupied our consideration literally once or twice in the past couple of years. There will be ample time to talk this through in coming months.

And in any case, this piece gives cursory consideration to the pros and cons of any Bush run that I don’t have any quarrel with.

Rather, a second article (and companion to the first in today’s Fairfax papers) that purports to list out GOP presidential contenders may be of more early interest to readers as a possible guide to who might stand as VP on any ticket headed by Bush.

I tend to think that Bush’s frontrunner status is likely to be enhanced by the considerable experience (and success) he has already recorded as Governor of Florida, as well as the obvious positives he brings in appealing to the Republican base.

And this rules out a lot of the neophytes on the second list, although some of those names come into the mix as a vice-presidential consideration.

Either way, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is likely to fare very badly in the upcoming Republican primary season, credited as he is with swinging last-minute votes behind Obama in 2012 with his glowing praise of the President’s response to Hurricane Sandy, and the subsequent scandals of governance he has faced in his own state.

Obviously, today’s piece is meant as an early talking point: and to provide my own input into this, an early musing over who might be selected as Bush’s running mate if he runs and prevails as the Republican to face off against Clinton.

I tend to think, despite the conservative nature of his Governorship in Florida, that any running mate is likely to be someone to the Right of the Republican Party — partly to offset some of Bush’s perceived drawbacks to the conservative wing of the party, and partly as a sop to it.

And it is likely to be, like Bush, someone who brings “experience” to the table: again, someone like Clinton, with the experience and political muscle she would bring to the Democratic nomination, is unlikely to be beaten by a slate of novices.

The obvious name is Paul Ryan, who stood in second spot on the GOP ticket to Romney two years ago, although whether he would do so again is a point of conjecture.

The names I would single out (at a very, very early stage in the process) are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who aside from hailing from the Right would balance a Bush ticket geographically, and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who would provide accommodation (and perhaps perspective) for the Tea Party contingent within the GOP.

In any case, and as I said at the outset, this piece this morning is really only to get the 2016 election into the mix of our discussions. I am certain it will come around again in more detail soon enough: and possibly as soon as the Christmas break, given the odd timing US elections often seem to follow.

I will be back this evening with something a little more topical, and focused on affairs closer to home.

 

Rape Defence: Is Hillary Clinton Unfit To Serve As POTUS?

A 30-YEAR-OLD INTERVIEW — made public this week for the first time — could be the silver bullet that ends the career of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once and for all; made when she was a lawyer during husband Bill’s first term as Governor of Arkansas, Clinton is heard laughing about her handiwork in getting a man she clearly believed guilty off a child rape charge. Is Clinton unfit to serve as President of the United States?

There are some people who will excuse practically anything on the basis of “youthful indiscretion,” or as a proverbial slip of the tongue, and indeed when talking about young, brash, excessively confident or ambitious and inadequately experienced young people, these pretexts for forgiveness are often appropriate and, indeed, warranted.

After all, the ruination of a career should not be primarily engineered from the mistakes of immaturity.

But rape — and the rape of a child, no less — is no laughing matter, and it doesn’t matter how young or inexperienced one might purport to be, there is nothing amusing about either the act or the escape of a perpetrator from punishment based on legal technicalities.

It is particularly disturbing, therefore, that an old interview with Hillary Clinton — previously a New York Senator and US Secretary of State, lately a rumoured presidential aspirant — has surfaced for the first time this week, and in my view it seals concerns over Clinton’s suitability to be President that have percolated for decades, and at least since her husband made the move from Little Rock to the Oval Office in 1993.

Readers should peruse this story and, particularly, listen to the six-minute audio file embedded in the article. This is material that has been buried since it was compiled in the 1980s, and with the contest to replace Barack Obama as US President set to ratchet up a notch once midterm elections in November are out of the way, its public release now is something Clinton could well do without.

I acknowledge that in handling the case in question — and representing her client, a 41-year-old man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl — that she was only doing her job; I also acknowledge that in plea bargaining the offence down from first degree rape to “unlawful fondling of a child” based on the destruction of a key piece of evidence by a forensic laboratory that had analysed it, she availed herself of a legal loophole by which to legitimately do so.

Where the problem for Clinton arises lies in some of the other details revealed in this interview, in Clinton’s obvious attitude to both the matter and the complainant, and the implications these raise over her integrity and suitability as a candidate for high office.

This case — to be sordid for a moment — appears to have pivoted on the underwear the accused was wearing on the night of the alleged rape; a section of this (encompassing, it seems, virtually the entire area of contamination with bodily fluids) had been removed by a forensic lab and analysed, with a report on the composition of the foreign material provided to the Court.

However, due to an intricacy of law that I don’t pretend to understand, the fact this evidence was subsequently destroyed (despite the official forensic report having being filed) apparently rendered the prosecution case as good as pointless, enabling Clinton to secure the deal for her client that got him off the charge of rape in exchange for a plea to something less serious.

So far, there’s nothing wrong in that, personal opinions readers might have notwithstanding.

But Clinton makes it very clear she believed her client was guilty: her musings that by passing a lie detector test, he “forever destroyed (her) faith in polygraphs” make that plain.

So, too, does her laughter over various points she makes in the interview, and it is this apparent mirth — hey, I knew he was as guilty as sin, right? But I got him off, and aren’t I clever? — that in my view goes to the heart of her suitability to be President, blowing apart as it does the credibility of her claim to be an unwavering champion of women’s rights.

There is nothing funny about a child being raped; the fact the perpetrator — now deceased — got off as a result of the inadvertent destruction of key evidence doesn’t justify or excuse the fact that someone finds the matter worth laughing about.

I accept that having agreed to defend this fellow, Clinton was bound to do so whether she believed him to be innocent or guilty. But her conduct in this interview is at times tantamount to bragging, which is tasteless at best and downright despicable at worst given the welfare of a 12-year-old girl was central to the case.

As the linked article notes, the victim of the alleged rape claims to have never come to terms with the attack, and harbours ongoing resentment and hostility toward Clinton for her actions.

To be fair, nobody can deny that over the course of her life Hillary Clinton has done a lot of charitable work that has benefited many people. Even so, the appearance of this material will give impetus to those who argue that such work was undertaken purely to build a political profile in readiness for the time she would step clear of her famous husband, and pursue a political career of her own.

And it bears pointing out that this interview wasn’t embargoed, or withheld for security-related reasons; it was never published, it seems, because notorious lad magazine Esquire — for which it was taped — simply opted not to run with it. Its emergence now, however, is difficult to regard as coincidental, coming as it does amid rampant speculation that Clinton will shortly confirm her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the Presidency to succeed Barack Obama when his term expires in early 2017.

It raises more of the questions that have perennially been asked of her judgement over more than 30 years in the public eye; the cavalier regard for propriety, which critics have often sought to portray as observed only by stonewalling and reliance upon technicalities, evokes memories of the Whitewater scandal that threatened at one point to terminate the Clintons’ tenure in the White House in the 1990s.

Her apparent betrayal of lawyer-client privilege in the interview is a telling pointer to this attitude; Clinton seemed to place greater emphasis on self-promotion.

So, too, is the revelation her certificate to practise as a barrister in Arkansas was suspended in 2002 for failing to undertake certain requirements around career development she was obliged to meet.

And the whole episode will do nothing to promulgate her claims to act as an advocate for women and children.

The irony is that just as Clinton’s opponents begin to produce what is reasonable to expect will become a mountain of material to discredit her, it is already clear Clinton is a flawed, compromised candidate for the Presidency.

At 69 by the time the election is held in 2016, Clinton will be the same age Ronald Reagan was when he won in 1980, and despite the spectacular successes of the Reagan era, Democrats have spent the 30+ years since lampooning him as a senile gerontocrat whose administration was run exclusively by his wife and his advisers.

The Democrats have also since used age to help defeat two other Republicans — Bob Dole at 73 in 1996 and John McCain at 72 in 2008 — and can hardly expect Clinton’s age not to be turned against her.

As a hypothetical President, her return to the White House would reopen many wounds from the administration of her husband: the reputed iffy deals, the policy torpor in international relations, and the divisions the controversial first couple opened in American society the first time around.

The domestic political climate in the US is arguably far more fraught today than it was in the 1990s: with arguments around national security, budget management, healthcare and environmental policy seemingly insuperable, as they are in many Western countries, it is doubtful as to whether such a divisive figure as Hillary Clinton could unify Americans as all US Presidents seek to do.

In any case, I have long maintained that if the Republican Party has the good sense to endorse Jeb Bush as its candidate (provided he can be prevailed upon to run), the Republicans are likely to return to the White House irrespective of who the Democrats put up — Clinton or otherwise.

Even so, I think this episode raises a question that American voters (and, by extension, anyone among America’s allies, partners and adversaries who ponder such matters) are increasingly going to be forced to contemplate over the next two-and-a-bit years, assuming Clinton goes ahead and contests the Democratic nomination.

Is she even fit to hold office? I suggest the answer is no. It remains to be seen what conclusions others draw — and not least, her Democratic Party colleagues and mentors.